This year’s team is called the FELDs. Five master degree students from the University of Padua (Italy) studying aerospace engineering and telecommunication engineering have been chosen to develop and conduct microgravity experiments during ESA's seventh Drop Your Thesis! campaign.
The campaign will take place at the ZARM Drop Tower facility of Bremen University in Germany from 3 to 14 November, 2015, where the team will have the opportunity to launch their experiment 5 times. They will use the drop mode to obtain a microgravity period of 4.7s.
During the preparation of their experiments, the students will be supported by ESA's Education Office and microgravity experts from ZARM. A member of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA) will also be on hand to provide advice and expertise in gravity-related research.
The team will test a docking system in microgravity that is tether-based. This kind of docking system has significant advantages over traditional rigid docking systems. The most important advantage is the reduced fuel consumption due to the looser alignment requirements. This might be useful for several applications in the space sector, from refueling operations to personnel transfer on the ISS and even to debris capture.
Last update: 5 September 2014